Pending in Springfield
Contact Your Representatives Now:
-Women's Right to Choose-
-Fairer Assessments-
-Tougher Gun Laws-
Dear Neighbors,

There are three laws that are of special concern to our Ward which are stuck in the Illinois House Rules Committee. Please contact your state Representatives and House and Senate leadership and urge them to pass these bills.
Protect A Woman's Right to Choose

Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, and Missouri have recently passed laws that restrict or ban abortion care. The   Illinois Reproductive Health Act   (RHA), is critical to protect reproductive rights in Illinois, especially if  Roe v. Wade  is overturned.

Without the RHA, laws steming from the  Illinois Abortion Act of 1975  and other restrictions could begin to be enforced. These include:

  • Requiring spousal consent to obtain abortion care
  • Requiring doctor consent committees to approve an abortion
  • Restricting certain forms of birth control, like the IUD
  • Requiring a mandatory 24-hour waiting period for abortion care
  • Banning assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Imposing criminal penalties to doctors for performing abortions

The RHA is supported by a long list of co-sponsors, including our State Representatives Sara Feigenholtz (12th) and Ann Williams (11th). It establishes fundamental reproductive health rights and modernizes Illinois’ reproductive rights laws by repealing outdated and unconstitutional prohibitions. The RHA would regulate abortion like any other form of health care, and if passed, would codify what is already being followed as law. But it provides additional certainty that reproductive rights will be protected and that Illinois remains a pro-choice State where reproductive healthcare is accessible and not treated as a criminal offense.

Please contact your state legislator, as well as Rules Committee Chair Greg Harris (13th), Rep. Art Turner (9th), member Rules Committee, and Speaker Michael Madigan (22nd) urging them to pass the RHA now.

Art Turner (9th):
Ann Williams (11th):
Sara Feigenholtz (12th):
Greg Harris (13th):
Speaker Michael Madigan

Fair Commercial Property Assessments

The Cook County Assessor's office does not receive full and accurate information from commercial property owners which has unfairly lowered some assessments. According to Crain's Chicago Business , "the prices of the 50 biggest [commercial] property sales in Cook County over the last five years added up to $17.1 billion, while the [former] assessor valued them at only $7.8 billion. The difference— about $9.2 billion —equals the value of nearly 40,000 median-priced homes in the Chicago area." Residential homeowners pay increased property taxes because of these under assessments.

SB1379 allows the Cook County Assessor’s Office to collect operating income and expense data to more accurately assess properties. The change would bring Cook County and Illinois in line with professional practices in other states and cities, including Washington D.C., Boston and Seattle. A summary of the bill is here.

The bill is fair - it exempts smaller commercial properties with fewer than six residential units "above the store." It will also help close a loophole that allows owners of vacant storefronts to claim lower tax assessments while keeping their properties unrented.

Passage of this bill is critical to reforming our assessment system and is also stuck in the Rules Committee.

State Representatives who represent the 43rd Ward are:

Art Turner (9th):
Ann Williams (11th):
Sara Feigenholtz (12th):
Greg Harris (13th):
Speaker Michael Madigan

Please show your support for the reforms led by Assessor Fritz Kaegi by urging our State Representatives to vote for this bill. If you don't live in the 43rd Ward, you can find contact information for your State Representative here .
Tougher Gun Licensing, Seizure and
Identification Revocation Bill

SB1966 improves the FOID (firearms owner identification) system and will help keep guns out of the wrong hands. The law tightens legal gaps that enabled both the Aurora shooting in February 2019 and the Mercy hospital shooting as well as the overall gun violence plaguing our state.

SB1966 Would:
  • Require point-of-sale background checks for unlicensed guns
  • FOID applicants must apply in person and be fingerprinted by the State Police
  • Law enforcement must remove guns when a FOID card is revoked
  • Cuts FOID card from 10-5 years
  • Strengthens Concealed Carry licensing

Write your state representatives and House and Senate at the addresses above, or join Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety.

Dickens Greenway Bike Path Community Meeting
Thursday, May 30
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
St. James Lutheran Church
2101 N. Fremont Ave.

Please attend a CDOT community meeting regarding a proposed improvements to Dickens Avenue. Representatives from CDOT and their consultant company, Ty Lin, will be on-site providing information and asking for your feedback and questions regarding the project. With this proposal they seek to make streets safer for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians. In addition, federal funding has been identified for the project.

We hope to see you there!
Construction Notices of
Current Projects

Fullerton and Geneva Terrace Restoration
Fullerton Avenue restoration from the Water Main replacement has begun again in earnest. Weather permitting, this will be completed soon.

Lincoln Common
Lincoln Common is fulfilling their own development restoration requirements on Halsted, Lincoln and Fullerton & the Fullerton/Lincoln/Halsted intersection, including the creation of through bike lanes.Traffic restrictions will be adjusted as they perform the work.

Please be cautious as you travel through the area and allow for extra time .
Memorial Day Weekend Office Closure

Our office will be closing early today, Friday, May 24th at 2 p.m. and will be closed on Monday, May 26th for the holiday weekend. We will reopen with our regular hours on Tuesday. We hope you have a very happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!
Thank you in advance,


Michele Smith
43rd Ward Alderman
43rd Ward Office Hours: M 9 AM - 7 PM, T - F 9 AM - 6 PM 
  2523 N Halsted  |  773-348-9500
Text Us for Constituent Services: 773-906-4333